About this Book
From the Introduction...
Having been a regional airline pilot for 13 years before moving on to the majors, much of my reflections in this book come from the angle of a captain who was constantly flying with pilots who were new to the airline industry. That’s what I did, and that is what regional airline captains are doing today as we move into another large cycle of hiring at the majors and regionals.
Now that the FARs require much higher standards for experience and education for new-hire airline pilots than ever before, I wrote this book intending for it to become a guide for new or aspiring airline pilots, as much as for the experienced pilot who is looking ahead to upgrade. In order to work for a U.S. carrier under 14 CFR Part 121, a pilot must possess an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. Prior to 2013, only a Commercial Pilot certification was required.
The upshot of these new requirements is this: Every airline hires pilots with the intention that they will someday in the near future upgrade to a captain position. The FAA certi es pilots with the intention that they are ultimately responsible—and qualified—for every operation they will undertake under the privileges afforded them by their ATP certificate. The FARs are explicit on this last part. All pilots operating under 14 CFR Part 121 must “...be fully qualified to act as pilot-in-command...”
But initial pilot training (i.e., “new hire” training) will not include a “Captains Class” module. At least, it doesn’t yet. And while training programs will be evolving quickly to adapt to new requirements, a bit of a gap exists between the classroom and real-world flight line operations. A pilot new to the industry, or even a pilot with several years as a first officer, may not get everything he or she needs from the classroom. Traditionally, this has been one of the roles of initial operating experience (IOE) training. Experienced check airmen are charged the responsibility to acclimate pilots to the real-world operating environment that a captain works in.
It is my intent in Pilots in Command to help bridge that gap. I wrote this book with every pilot in mind: the college student working his way through an FAA-approved curriculum to be an airline pilot; a new hire at the regional/express carrier; a new hire at a major/national carrier; a captain upgrade candidate; and pilots who want some extra insight, tips, and tricks of the trade. I also wrote this from the viewpoint I think all pilots share: we all want to be better. We all seek improvement and we want to keep the blade sharp. As I worked through each topic covered in the book, I developed an approach of “best practices” for pilots. From briefings to handling non-normals, and from reviewing a dispatch release to getting a good night’s sleep, I have written this book with a practical approach, filled with simple steps to take, mnemonics to remember, and checklists to complete in your everyday efforts to be the safest, most responsible leader you can be both in and out of the flight deck.
Chapters in this Book...
Defining a Pilot-in-Command
In Charge Behind the Cockpit Door
Rediscovering the "Lost Art" of CRM
You Can't Leave Home Without Them
Pilots (and Dispatchers) In Command of Operational Integrity
Customers Care that You Care
Known and Unknown Challenges of Non-Normals
Away From the Airport But Still At Work
Pride in Professionalism - The PIC Leadership Model
Tips, Tricks, and Tools of the Trade